Thanksgiving is a favorite holiday among many–it means great food, time with family and a remembrance for all the things you're grateful for in life. There's just one downside: the cleanup!
Lucky for Ramonans, local chef Ben Peterson, who impresses diners at the San Vicente Resort with his innovative and elevated dishes, is doing all the work for families who want to enjoy the day and forget about limited oven space.
"I've got a chef coming in at 3:30 in the morning to put the turkeys in the oven," Peterson told Patch. "I'll come in at 5 a.m. Everything for Thanksgiving is made that morning."
Peterson is taking on the challenge of making a Thanksgiving buffet for hungry residents next Thursday. The buffet (menu attached) will include 13 dishes, like apple sausage stuffed mushrooms, green beans with onion-bacon jam, hazelnut-crusted salmon, orange-glazed ham and of course, roasted turkey.
"We purchased eight 32-pound turkeys with four breasts for reserve," Peterson said. "We have four legs of bone-in ham."
Peterson, who has been preparing the annual buffet since he first started working here almost four years ago, said the menu is a product of live-and-learn.
"This year we're doing standardized potatoes because they hold better," Peterson said. "There are more vegetarian options this year, too."
More new items this year is the breakfast menu–something the resort hasn't done before.
"Last year we did early-bird buffet," Peterson said, noting his distaste for scrambled eggs sitting in a warmer. "This year we're going a new breakfast menu–nothing on it is on our standard menu, except for the eggs and bacon breakfast."
The tantalizing Thanksgiving breakfast includes intriguing dishes like Jack Daniel's french toast, pumpkin pancakes and house-made corned beef hash made with Worcestershire sauce and caramelized onions.
"This menu is 'me' because new is fun and different is fun" Peterson said. "If people like what's on the breakfast menu, we'll put it on our regular menu."
Those participating in the Turkey Trot at 7 a.m. can stop by the resort's Oaks Grille for the Thanksgiving breakfast menu, which will be served from 8 a.m.-noon.
San Vicente Resort Marketing Coordinator Janice Baldridge said there were three reasons to enjoy the resort's Thanksgiving buffet feast on Nov. 22: "the view, the food and no cleanup."
Peterson reminds us that that the experience of enjoying Thanksgiving is based on two simple things.
"As long as you're with family...," he said, it doesn't matter where you eat. "It's the food that's the memory."
As for Chef Peterson, he'll head home for his own family Thanksgiving around 2 p.m. next Thursday. But don't expect him to feast on any of his own fixings.
"By the time I get home, I'm sick of it."
Want to reserve a spot for this turkey day feast? Call up San Vicente Resort at 760-789-8290 ext. 2211 for reservations. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m.-noon with varied prices. The Thanksgiving buffet will be served from noon-4:30 p.m. and cost is $26 for adults and $13 for kids 10 and under. Children 4 and younger are free.